Saturday, July 1, 2017

July 1, 2017 -- A Quick Run Around the Web

"Kill Or Be Killed"--The Best Film Archive (10 min.)
This short training film was intended to teach soldiers the difference between the sports field (wherein rules apply) and the battle field (on which there are no rules).

The new .22 Nosler is roughly 300 feet per second (fps) faster than .223/5.56 with over 30 percent more energy. With 25 percent more capacity, the 55-grain Nosler Ballistic Tip bullet launches out at 3,350 fps through an 18-inch barreled AR-15 and a 77-grain custom competition bullet flies at a screaming 2,950 fps. 
Pressure is piling onto Paolo Gentiloni's government as the number of refugees entering Italy continues to rise. This year, already 70,000 new migrants have entered Italy, around 15 percent more than 2016. More than 10,000 people are currently aboard rescue ships on the way to Italian harbors. Most of them come from Nigeria, Bangladesh, and Guinea, but Egyptians and Syrians are also using this way since the Balkan route is closed.
“Help us, help us,” Eliasson said at a press conference on the subject of the rising levels of crime and criminal networks in Sweden. Eliasson said there were at least 5,000 criminals divided into around 200 networks in Sweden operating in the now 61 no-go zones, many of which are heavily migrant-populated, G√∂teborgs-Posten reports.
To make matters worse, "80 per cent of Swedish police are considering leaving the force due to issues ranging from violence against them in no-go areas to lack of holiday time and poor funding."
  • "Drilling Firm To Pursue Water, Gas, Oil Projects"--Jerusalem Post. You may remember that, back in 2015, an Israeli oil and gas firm had announced the discovery of a significant oil field under the Golan Heights (captured from Syria in the 1967 Six-Day War). This article, which is from January of this year, indicated that the company was preparing to start drilling. If the oil find lives up to expectations, it will probably become a flash point for future conflict when Syria (or whatever replaces Syria) decides to try and reassert its control over the Heights.
  • "Germany — Land of Milk and Honey"--Gates of Vienna. A reprint of an essay by by Rolf Peter Sieferle. He writes about the threat of Europe being overwhelmed by immigrants from Africa and the Middle-East, but then moves on to why these immigrants are fleeing to Europe (particularly Germany) over staying in their own countries or fleeing elsewhere. The answer, of course, is a combination of the proximity of Europe, and the peace and prosperity that exist there--particularly in the heavily industrialized nations such as Germany. Sieferle moves on, then, to examine why Germany (or Europe, overall) have greater peace and prosperity, especially compared to Middle-Eastern nations that have been civilized for so much longer. The reason, he concludes, is industrialization which, in turn, hinged on the development of the concept of a nation:
       So we confront the problem that a successful industrialization is based on certain historical, especially cultural and institutional preconditions which are not easy to imitate or create. People like living in the promised land, and are moved to immigrate to industrialized countries, but something is keeping them from establishing this paradise at home. Apparently, immigrating to an already existing utopia is easier. Why? If industrialization and democratization, the creation of a constitutional order and implementation of rational ways of thinking are natural characteristics of “modernization,” then why is it so much more attractive to undergo the rigors of migration, than to transform one’s own native land according this model? The reason, in general, is that the assumptions of modernization theory are false. Ours was a highly improbable process, shaped by many contingencies which had over centuries created ways of thinking and institutions, the results of which are evident today in zones of prosperity and security. This model of success cannot simply be copied. Transferring technology is easy; transferring institutions is difficult; transferring cultural-intellectual paradigms is practically impossible or at least a very lengthy process.
           An important, if not the crucial prerequisite of European development was the destruction of tribal structures by the states of the early modern age, and that was an elementary prerequisite of the national state that became the institutional center of 19th century industrialization. The nation-state dissolved the agrarian social duality of local domination and dynastic centrality. Its goal was the creation of a homogeneous unity of the people, area and power of the state, excluding and distinguishing itself from other entities. The primary achievement of the nation-state was the centralization of rule and the concomitant dissolution of intermediary powers such as tribes, clans, extended families, associations and clientele systems of all kinds. The ideal of the nation-state as constitutional state was the immediacy of state to individual (“equal rights for all”) and the state’s monopoly on force with differentiated organs for enforcement (police, military).
              This national state combined important structural elements: money, law, language, government, transportation, citizenship (instead of adherence to a community). And thus it became the provider of a complex market/industrial economy, for instance, in the administration of justice (civil trial instead of vendetta).
               To achieve this requires a centralized top-to-bottom administration sufficient to meet the demands of bureaucratic rationale (against corruption and patronage). A central element of this was a unified, legal and calculable system of taxation.
                 Transforming the dynastic state of the agrarian society into the nation-state required the delegitimization of the former and the anticipatory legitimization of the latter. This was done on the basis of the ideology of nationalism, which defined the identifying unit of the state as the “people,” in its dual meaning as both demos and ethnos. The nation-state was understood as a “people’s state” and this could mean “ethnic state” or “democratic state” or both. The ideology of nationalism insisted upon the uniqueness of the given people. This could be understood in a “horizontal” sense as an element of a human plurality (as with Herder) or in a “vertical” sense of a hierarchy with a ruling elite at the top and a worker class at the base, as in the classical empires.
                   The basic concept of nationalism is that the world should be ruled by political units, each of which controls ethnically homogeneous areas. This was a normative concept that — at the time of its inception — was only sparsely descriptive. In the 18th century, there were hardly any ethnically homogeneous “nations.” Nonetheless, this concept achieved an astonishing prescriptive power. In the 19th century, the existence of national states was seen as nothing less than natural, so that a poor future was predicted for political entities that could not claim the principle of nationalism. In the context of Europe, this applied particularly to Austria-Hungary, but also to Russia and the Ottoman Empire — all classical “multi-ethnic” empires whose existence until then had not been in question. The ideology of nationalism tended to ascribe quasi-tribal characteristics to the national state. The nationalistically molded nation-state perceived itself as representing a lineage, and demanded a comprehensive loyalty from its members, otherwise found only in tribal societies. Therefore, conflict with other nation-states easily achieved “total,” if not genocidal characteristics. The resultant excesses occurred largely in the first half of the 20th century, but the possibility exists everywhere where nations are being formed. In the second half of that century, the ideology was in bad odor among the elites in advanced countries, who (justifiably) see in it the potential for ethnic cleansing and genocide. There has been an ideological shift from the “ethnic” to the “democratic” accent on “people.”
            He goes on to discuss how the concept of "nation" and "nationalism" has fallen into disfavor with the universal and globalist ideals of modern elites who want to form trans-national organizations such as the EU. But, unfortunately or not, there is a tension between the forces that make a nation work, and the universal ideal. 
                     This is particularly obvious in the second institutional manifestation of the industrial society — the welfare state. It is the institutional solution of a problem created by the dissolution of civic communities. In European agrarian societies, the (cooperatively organized) communities had assumed certain duties of public service for their members that could not be managed by the families — especially helping the poor and support in cases of emergency. With industrialization, communal membership became an obstacle to advancement, and therefore obsolete. In the wake of the introduction of free enterprise and freedom of movement, status as a resident took the place of communal citizen, and “citizen of a community” was expanded to “citizen of a country”. Its services (as was also the case with civic communities) were for the benefit only of its own citizens. In this sense, both were exclusive of those outside and inclusive of those inside. Precisely this relation of exclusion and inclusion defines the problematic nature of the national welfare state.
                       The welfare state — after nationalism’s loss of plausibility — faces the problem that it is only viable as a nation-state; that the inclusivity of its public services is based in fact on a form of exclusivity. However, the official ideology supporting the welfare state’s redistribution of wealth (out of motives of “equality” and “justice”) applies universally. If the welfare state bases its programs of “social justice” on universal humanitarianism (“human rights”), then the area of the implementation of these justice-serving programs can clearly not be confined to the nation-state. As a universalist ideology, universal redistributive socialism should be oriented toward the world state and/or world society. Since these “entities” do not actually exist, it must incorporate elements of globalization into the present nation-state/welfare state, and open the welfare system to, for instance, immigrants. The ultimate effect, of course, would be the destruction of the welfare state, but not of its universalization.
                Sieferle moves from there to a discussion of whether importing people from tribal areas or failed states endangers industrialization. That is, can people from regions that lack the wherewithal to industrialize successfully maintain an industrial state that already exists. My belief is that they cannot, and Sieferle seems to suggest the same, as he notes that there are such things as "cultural capital" that contribute to the success of a nation-state: particularly "trust." Trust is high in homogeneous nations and cities and low in multi-cultural nations and cities. Sieferle notes, for instance, that "[i]n the year 2000, to the question of whether most people can be trusted, 67% of Danes and 66% of Swedes answered 'yes' but only 3% of Brazilians." In this regard, he hypothesizes: 
                There is the danger that the “multicultural society” that results from immigration will destroy cultural capital, transforming ethnically and culturally homogeneous industrial countries into multi-tribal societies. It is then very likely that important institutional and intellectual-cultural prerequisites for a functioning industrial structure will be destroyed. The basic model of trust will disappear, which can drive the costs of economic transactions to enormous heights. In place of the constitutional state with its monopoly on force, the law of vendetta may reappear.
                The result, he describes, will be Fourth Generational Warfare:
                         When conflicts arise, attempts are made first to resolve them within the pertinent tribal structure, through their own mediators, but also perhaps with the help of enforcement-capable allies. Once this process is underway (and the beginnings of it can be observed in numerous European cities) it can gain strength with ease and develop its own dynamic. Then (along old or new borderlines) more and more tribal groups may form, with their own tax system (protection payments) and their own decision apparatus. These groups will then come into competition with the traditional constitutional state and its policing forces. Ultimately nothing will remain of this “state’ except as one tribe among other tribes. For those citizens who belong to no particular tribe, and had relied upon the constitutional state, this will be fatal.
                           If such a movement should be set in motion, we would be witnessing an industrial society in the evolutionary process of destroying itself. Historically, the successful complex “industrialization and modernity” was created by a particular constellation of cultural elements. This complex, however, has developed normative characteristics of humanitarian universalism, which render it unable to regulate or prevent the immigration of members of alien cultures. Such a society — no longer able to distinguish itself from the forces disintegrating it — is living morally beyond its means. It is not sustainable. Through relativization, it is destroying its cultural identity — the prerequisite of its capacity. And so it puts an end to itself. 
                    * * *  
                           This process of universalization and globalization is probably unavoidable, and the “peoples” who have shaped recent decades are now being consumed by it. We must be clear about the fact that this will be accompanied by countless painful frictions. Many present-day Germans would like to disappear as a people, be dissolved in Europe or humanity at large. Other peoples will vigorously resist such a prospect. It will not be harmonious. Individual cultures will attempt to use this opportunity to impose their traditional model universally, whether by force, or Western “human rights” or Islamic jihad, or whatever else. The immigration crisis we now face is just a premonitory sign of comprehensive convulsions which will swallow up everything we now take for granted.

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